Lisa Nandy has told ITV News she is "seriously" considering a bid for the Labour leadership, amid reports a familiar face may be elected to carry on the Jeremy Corbyn project.
Ms Nandy, one of the few Labour red wall MPs to be re-elected, said the reason her party suffered so badly in the general election was not just because of Mr Corbyn, but the party's "direction of travel".
In what may have been a veiled swipe at potential leadership hopefuls from the left of Labour, such as Rebecca Long-Bailey, Ms Nandy said "we can't just change the face and think that everything will be resolved".
She added: "In many parts of the country it wasn't just about Jeremy Corbyn, I don't think that the idea that one individual alone is responsible for what has happened here is right."
The Wigan MP, who was once Mr Corbyn's shadow energy and climate change secretary, said she is "seriously thinking about" whether to throw her hat into the leadership ring, but said she intends to do some research first.
She said she wants to "just do a bit of listening" before she makes her final decision "about what should come next and what role I can play in it".
Another problem with Labour, she said, was the fact much of the party is based in London.
"If I do run to be leader of the Labour Party I am not going to spend all my time in London," she said.
"If I was the leader of the Labour Party I would be saying to those journalists and those people who make decisions who wield power: 'You need to get on a train and come north.'
"We're going to smash up this concentration of power in a small number of hands, in a small part of central London because that is part of the problem."
According to multiple reports, Ashton-under-Lyne MP Ms Rayner has not made a final decision, but is exploring a deputy leadership bid.
Ms Long-Bailey, who is the MP for Salford, is one of several candidates said to be a possible successor to Mr Corbyn, having received the backing of senior figures in the party’s current leadership.
Many in the political left believe the best new leader for Labour should be a female from the north - and Rebecca Long-Bailey fits that description.
But former Darlington MP Jenny Chapman, who lost her seat in the election, said it is "crazy" anyone should suggest prerequisites for a new leader.
She told ITV News Political Correspondent Daniel Hewitt: "It won't be good enough if we pick someone who makes us feel good so we can say 'look we've got a woman, we've got someone from the North'".
The Labour leadership battle descended into acrimony on Sunday after another contender, Emily Thornberry, was accused by former MP Caroline Flint of labelling Leave voters “stupid” following the European referendum result in 2016.
Shadow foreign secretary Ms Thornberry accused Ms Flint, who lost her Don Valley seat in the election, of spreading the “most extraordinary lies” and confirmed she had approached her solicitors over the remarks.
While Ms Flint is likely reeling from her election loss, senior Tory Michael Gove is happy to have seen her lose her place in Parliament.
Looking ahead to a Labour leadership contest, Mr Gove said she would be the MP he feared most.
ITV News Political Correspondent Daniel Hewitt, who was interviewing Mr Gove, jokingly reminded the minister that Ms Flint had lost her seat.
"That's the problem for the Labour Party in a way, that many of the people who would be strong leaders of the Labour Party, Caroline Flint, Ian Austin, John Woodcock, they're not available.
"That I think is the dilemma and difficulty that the Labour Party faces."